Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Neurodiversity As a Defense Mechanism?

When I first thought to write to the issue of "Defense Mechanisms in Autistic Culture" as a Psychology class assignment, my mind was focused on the typical stereotypic behaviors that so often mark our labeling. But Mom came across an obscure blog that claimed the entire neurodiversity autism movement is a product of Freudian defense mechanisms(Mitchel, 2009). Specifically, he discussed denial, displacement and reaction formation . The denial is seen as our refusal to acknowledge our defectiveness or brokeness. The displacement is our lashing out at our tormentors, the curebies as they are called. And the reaction formation is our embracing ourselves as being valuable human beings. I can not speak for others on their motivation for promoting neurodiversity, but I can speak to my own motivations and defensive mechanisms play no part in it. I have long described myself as a whole soul imprisoned in a broken body. If I am guilty of denial, it is in not accepting that as a death knell to my personhood. To say we are differently wired - we are,with cross wirings and burnt out connections and alternate pathways just to name a few. If it is reaction formation to love and accept oneself with one's limitations then I wish it for all the world, and most especially for Mr.Mitchel. I don't need to justify the heartache of autism, God does. It serves a higher purpose and that is enough for me. All life is valuable in God's eyes, just as he created it.